The Termination Letter

THE TERMINATION LETTER

Japheth Prosper

I still remember how my father walked into the house that evening and announced that he had been fired.

“I have just been fired,” he said to my mother miserably and languidly sank into the chair. “I have just received my termination letter. My own is finished. I am finished. We are finished.”

As he cried, my mother came to sit beside him. God bless my mother. She just helped him to unbutton his shirt, remove his jacket and turn the fan to face him.
“You are not finished, my husband. You are not finished.”

She summoned my elder sister.

“Lucy, bring your father food to eat.”

I could see the shock in my father’s eyes. How could she not understand that he had just lost his job? I believed that was what he was thinking. But my mother remained in that manner as if nothing had happened.

Lucy brought my father’s food while my mother called on me to bring her a paper and a pen. I wondered what was on her mind. There were tears already hanging on my cheeks because I didn’t like the mood I saw my father in that evening. I had never found him in such a vulnerable situation before.

When I gave my mother the pen and paper, she began at once to scribble something on it. I wondered what it was. Although I sat in front of the television, my ears were cocked to pick up every sound. I wanted to know what they were going to do with that piece of bad news that my father had brought.

He just ate about ten spoonfuls of the rice that my sister had placed on the dining table for him. The meat, he did not even touch. My father was a very heavy eater. He must really be in a terrible mood for him not to have eaten from the food. I felt for him. I really felt for him.

Soon, his head was cradled in his palms. I knew he was thinking. I quickly remembered my classmate Biodun whose father had died of hypertension and when I asked my sister what could lead to such sickness, Lucy had said it was ‘too much thinking.’

I wanted to tell my father not to think because I did not want him to die but we were taught to keep quiet when our parents were having a heart-to-heart talk. For this reason I simply maintained a dignified silence.

“Chai! Upon all the things I did for these people, they still had the mind to fire me! This world is wicked! This world is crazy,” my father kept on lamenting.

Heaving, my mother said, “Mr. David Kadema, we are not going to discuss the past now. We are going to discuss the present and the future. You have lost your job and it is now in the past. We are not going to talk about it. We are going to talk about what we are going to do from now onwards because, job or no job, this family must feed and carry on with life.”

My father was just staring at my mother as if she was his teacher and he was a very obedient pupil. He was just staring at her as if she had just returned from Jupiter.

“What are we going to do now?”

I was surprised to hear my father ask my mother such a question. What did he mean by that? He had always been the breadwinner and the one who took almost all the decisions in the house.

My mother asked, “How much do you have?”

He looked at my mother as if she had just asked a very difficult question on rocket science.

“Mr. David Kadema, talk to me. How much money do you have in your account?”


Somewhat reluctantly, he mumbled a sum. My mother heaved a long sigh.

“I have double that amount in my account,” she said. “We can start up something with what we both have and live happily.”

From where I sat, I saw the palpable shock in my father’s eyes. “How did you get such money?”

He did not expect that my mother could have such amount of money in her account because my mother sold only soft drinks with ice blocks at home. Most people who always go to work usually look down on people who did petty business. However, I have come to realize that this assertion was completely wrong. Because he was usually not at home, he didn’t realize that my mother was making so much money from her petty business.

Again, my mother was not an impulsive buyer like my father. Every kobo counted whenever she wanted to buy or sell. As far as being prudent was concerned, my mother could score a hundred marks.

“We are going to start selling eggs in crates and we shall be using your Sienna minivan to do supplies.”

“What?” Wild horror lined my father’s face. “What are you talking about? You mean…?”

“Yes,” she replied without waiting for him to conclude. “We are going to be selling eggs and your car will be used to supply them.”

My father sat like a cocked gun. I could sense the irritation in him but he was calm. I think the termination letter with the figure my mother said she had in her account had humbled him.

My mother began to talk about her proposed business and, with rapt attention, he listened. They talked for a very long time.

“We are going to draft a new food roaster,” my mother said. “From today, we are cutting down expenses. Only needs will be taken care of from today. No money will be spent on wants and frivolities. Please let me be the boss for six months and, thereafter, you will take over fully.”

I thought my father was going to object to that but he didn’t. Instead he agreed to all the things that my mother was saying nodding at various intervals.

“And lastly, you will not lament to anyone that you have lost your job. As far as I am concerned, you resigned and got a better one because no job is as good as the one you do for yourself.”

My mother went on talking for a long time and my father kept listening and nodding at everything she was saying.

Finally, she looked at me and said, “Mercy, are your brothers at home?”

“No, Mummy,” I shook my head. “They have gone to play football.”

“Tell your sister to fetch water for your father to bathe with,” she said and turned to my father, “Congratulations, Mr. David Kadema. Take your bath and rest your bones.”

Somehow, I saw the relief in his eyes as he got up from his seat and went to the bathroom.

Later that evening while he was asleep, my mother gathered us all for a meeting. My brothers Jerry and Eugene had both returned from the field. Jerry had just got admission into the university and had only returned after the first semester. He was going to become a civil engineer. Eugene was going to SS3 while Lucy was in JS3. I was going to JS1.

We all gathered at the dining table as she talked. “Your father has just lost his job,” she began rather expressionlessly.

“What!” Jerry and Eugene cried in unison. Lucy’s hands were on her head.

“What happened?” Lucy asked. “Did he fight with someone?”

My mother shook her head. “I don’t care what happened. I am only concerned about now and after. I want you all to assume that nothing happened and we will all get our hands on deck.”

“Will he start looking for a job?” Jerry threw in.

“No,” Mother said shaking her head. “He just got another job.”

Lucy raised her hands to the air, “Praise the Lord!”

“Thank God ooo,” Eugene heaved. “I hope it’s a better job ooo.”

“Yes, it is,” my mother nodded.

“What job is that?” they all chorused with naked curiosity.

That was when I spoke for the very first time. Before my mother would reply, I muttered, “He will be selling eggs.”

“What?”

They all turned to my mother. Eugene’s eyes darted with inquisitiveness. “Mother, is it true?”

“Yes,” she nodded, and I saw the disappointment in their eyes. “Your father is now an egg dealer. He is going to start working for himself now and no more rushing his meals just to go to work on time. He will plan his day from now onwards and his time will be spent in doing his own business not another man’s business.”

She went on to tell us so many things and in the end we were all convinced that the termination letter was a blessing in disguise.

“All hands must be on deck. Your father has been working for this company for over a decade now and we still live in a rented apartment. If the job was that good, we ought to have been living in our own house by now.”

She wrote so many things on a sheet of paper and mapped out duties for all of us. The next day, she made zobo and kunu and bottled them. Lucy and I went from house to house telling people that we now sold cold kunu and zobo.


Mother bought a bigger refrigerator a week after and we began to sell more sachet water along with the kunu and zobo.

Within a month, we had found a shop across the street. My mother set up a laundry shop for my elder brothers there and they were always busy because she announced it at the church. Almost half of the men in our church patronized them. Most evenings, we all joined hands in washing while Eugene and Jerry did the ironing. When they had so much work, they would invite their friends and pay them for the services rendered. Our house became more like a business hub.

The egg business started a month later and my father got very busy. His phone was always buzzing with people calling for supplies. Mother was always counting money. With the interest that came from the business, she bought agro products and kept them in a very big shop which we rented months later.

When it was six months and mother was to hand over to my father, he smiled and said, “Be the boss, my love. Just be the boss and I will forever be at your beck and call.”

By the time Jerry returned to school, he opened another laundry shop there.


We now have three Sienna cars to distribute eggs. We now have people working for us. We now have three shops and own two houses which we gave out for rent. Our own living house will soon be completed. It might seem like magic to some people but we are all proud of my mother. We all saw how it began and she was transparent enough to let us know how every penny was got or spent.


To crown it all, my brother Jerry will be graduating this year while Lucy will be heading for Finland to further her education.

Understanding the source of anger

UNDERSTANDING THE SOURCE OF ANGER

Os Hillman

“A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control.”
(Proverbs 29:11)

The workplace can be a pressure-packed world. The demands that are often put on us can bring out things that we never knew were there. Sometimes we begin to think that the source of that pressure is to blame for our response to the pressure. It could be an event, a spouse, a boss, a client, a child, or even a driver who cuts us off in traffic.

I recall responding to a close friend one time, “If you had not done that, I would never have responded that way.” Later I learned that this response had little truth to it. We all choose to get angry. No one else is to blame for our anger.

“The circumstances of life, the events of life, and the people around me in life, do not make me the way I am, but reveal the way I am” [Dr. Sam Peeples].

This simple quote has had a profound impact on how I view my anger now. Anger only reveals what is inside of me. I can’t blame anyone but me for my response to a situation. I have learned that anger is only the symptom of something else that is going on inside of me. This quote now resides on my refrigerator door as a daily reminder of the truth about my response to life’s situations.

It has been said that anger is like the warning panel on the dash of your car. It is the light that tells us something is going on under the hood and we need to find out what is the source of the problem. I discovered that the source of anger is often unmet expectations or personal rights. We believe we are entitled to a particular outcome to a situation. When this doesn’t happen, it triggers something in us. At the core of this is fear, often a fear of failure or rejection, fear of what others think, fear of the unknown.

If you struggle with anger, ask God to reveal the source of that anger. Ask Him to heal you of any fears that may be the root of your anger. Ask God to help you take responsibility for your response to difficult situations.

The 5 enemies of change

THE 5 ENEMIES OF CHANGE

The key to success is commitment plus action. The first enemy of change is EXCUSES that bombard your mind and tell you—“You can’t!” You can have great ideas of what you want to do, but if excuses keep you from acting, nothing much will change. There are innumerable excuses why you can’t do something and only one really great reason why you can. You can do one important thing to change today because God said you can. Philippians 4:13 says, I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.”

DISCOURAGEMENT tries to creep in as you seek to change. An effective, successful person needs to understand that resistance to doing the right thing is normal and to be expected. You can be intentional in your family, your work, or your church even if the people around you or your circumstances don’t change. Become a different person yourself, and as you grow, everything around you will appear to change too.

The enemy, ANXIETY, is always produced by looking backward or forward. One of my professors in grad school put it this way, “The further we move either back in time or ahead in time from this very moment, the more anxious and out of control we feel.” The past is over, and only God knows what is going to happen tomorrow—and you have no control over that either. So, you must live for today, intentionally doing the one small thing that will take you another step closer to your goal.

Unexpected events in your life produce the enemy of DISRUPTIONS. Whether it’s illness, an accident or a child’s bad decision—disruptions are going to happen in your life. You have more power than you think. Focus on the things you can control—your thoughts, attitudes and behaviors. When you are faced with the enemy of disruptions, hold yourself accountable by simply picking yourself up again and getting back on track to pursue that next right ONE THING.

WAITING is the last enemy of change that I want to mention. Waiting drives me crazy! Trying to rush into success is like trying to rush into love—you may think you are there before you really are. Hard work is the price you must pay for success. If you’re willing to pay the price, the hard work will pay off. It just often takes time.

Henry Bergson, a Nineteenth century French philosopher said, “To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself endlessly.” Refuse to allow the enemies of change to steal your dream. Instead, you can press through and win by doing the next right ONE THING.

Intentional ONE THING Challenge

If you could do ONE THING and know that it would make a significant, lasting, possibly life-changing difference in your life, would you do it? Dr. Carlson shares the power of ONE THING and why you should get started doing your ONE THING today.

Tell Us…

Which enemy of change do you struggle with the most? We’d love to hear your stories. Post your comments below.

Is Flirting Cheating When You’re in a Relationship?

IS FLIRTING CHEATING WHEN YOU’RE IN A RELATIONSHIP?

Cheryl James

Is flirting cheating when you’re in love with someone? Here’s something you really need to know and understand before jumping to conclusions.

Do you flirt with an attractive friend when your partner isn’t around?

Or a better way to put the same question is, do you enjoy having a happy conversation with an attractive friend or coworker?

Most people press the panic button when it comes to flirting.

And almost always, that’s because they don’t understand what flirting really is all about.

What is flirting?

Flirting is a simple idea. It’s a conversation where you attract the other person using your charm and your conversational skills.

If you attract someone while talking to them, you’re already flirting with them. Of course, sometimes, that could happen unintentionally too.

If you flirt with someone, it doesn’t have to mean that you’re interested in sleeping with them. You’re just having an interesting conversation that makes you realize just how attractive you really are.

Even when you decide to go out with your own partner, you dress up and wear something that may show a bit of skin. But your partner already knows how you look naked. So why are you revealing your assets to other guys? It’s because you like looking good, don’t you?

And that’s exactly what flirting does on the inside. It makes you realize your own sexuality.

Read this before flirting with someone else!

Just so you know, flirting outside the relationship may not work for everyone. It never works if you’re dating an insecure partner who feels threatened whenever you’re around someone your partner perceives as more attractive.

If your partner has low self esteem, they would definitely hate you if you flirt with another person or if they even hear that you flirted with another person.

So before you go flirting with everyone else, keep your partner’s insecurity and jealousy in mind.

Why does flirting feel so good?

Before we even get to chatting about whether flirting is cheating, let’s get to why flirting feels so good. Here are 4 good reasons.

#1 It helps keep your sexuality alive and makes you feel better about your own attractiveness.

#2 You become a better flirt, which makes you a better tease and a better conversationalist.

#3 It makes you feel more confident about yourself and your own abilities.

#4 It doesn’t leave you frustrated or restricted by your relationship.

If you can flirt naturally, it shows that you have all the charming traits in you already, and that makes you a really good catch.

The difference between harmless flirting, touchy flirting and talking dirty

Is flirting cheating? Well, it depends on the kind of flirting you have in mind. There are 3 types of flirting you could indulge in when you’re talking to someone outside the relationship.

#1 Harmless flirting. This is the kind of flirting where you use your gestures and your voice to have a happy conversation. You tease and you laugh, and you have a great time. This is perfectly acceptable even when you’re in a relationship. If your partner can’t handle it, it only means they’re insecure or feel offended when you give anyone else your attention.

#2 Touchy flirting. In this kind of flirting, you do all of the above and yet, you take it one step further. You exercise your hands and almost all the time, your hand’s resting on some part of your friend’s body. You may place your hand causally, but it could definitely be misinterpreted by everyone around.

#3 Talking dirty. When anyone talks about flirting, every prudish mind thinks of this kind. Flirting is casual. Talking dirty definitely isn’t. If you talk dirty, compliment the other person sexually or try to get them to sleep with you, then that’s completely unacceptable when you’re already in a relationship.

So if you do indulge in a bit of flirting with others when your partner isn’t around, restrict it to the harmless kind. It’s safe and fun, and no secure partner takes offence of it.

Flirting and the need to feel appreciated

All of us have the need to feel appreciated. And that’s why we dress up, use makeup, workout or get a better job. Somewhere deep inside all of us, we need reassurances from someone else to feel good about ourselves.

When you get into a relationship, you feel great about yourself because you’ve found someone who truly loves you and finds you *exciting*. But as time goes by and the sweet and sexy compliments start to become a routine, it forces you to look for reassurances from outside the relationship.

If an attractive colleague compliments how good you look in a new dress, you feel good about it even though you already know you’re wearing a cute outfit, don’t you? That’s the power of reassurance.

And it’s the same feeling you get when you flirt with someone else. It helps you realize how sexually attractive you still are, and that makes you feel more confident and sexy.

Is flirting when you’re in a relationship really cheating?

All of us flirt naturally, whether we realize it or not. Many lovers who don’t want their own partners to flirt with anyone else may just be hypocrites. Of course, you may not like the thought very much. But put yourself in your partner’s place. Wouldn’t you enjoy a conversation with an attractive someone other than your own partner?

The more you suppress your flirting side, the more you’d feel like you’ve lost your sexuality. And that would in turn affect your confidence in bed. So is flirting cheating when it can make you a better lover?

Times when flirting can be a lot of fun

#1 Your partner isn’t around, and you’re in the middle of a conversation with someone you admire or find attractive.

#2 If you’re talking to someone who won’t misinterpret your conversation, and is flirting with you just to have a fun conversation.

#3 You’re feel unsexy and you really need to feel like you still have the sexual charm in you.

Times when you should avoid flirting

#1 Your partner is insecure or you’re dating someone who’s extremely jealous. *good luck with that relationship!*

#2 You’re talking to someone who will misinterpret your conversation or assume that you’ve started falling for them even if you’re only trying to have a fun conversation.

#3 Your partner’s friends are around, and they would want nothing better than to exaggerate the situation and spread slutty stories about you *because they’re probably jealous*.

#4 Your relationship is going through a rough patch and you need to focus on building your relationship instead of sweet talking someone else.

Flirt, but never leave your partner in the dark

Flirting is healthy for a relationship, but both of you should be aware of each other’s abilities to sweet talk someone else. You need to have a great relationship with your partner, and both of you should have a lot of trust and love in the relationship.

And most importantly, don’t set different rules for yourself and your partner. If you’ve flirted with someone behind your lover’s back, you partner has every right to do the same thing too.

After all, you’ve flirted now and then and you know it was harmless, so why restrict your partner from having a pleasant and interesting conversation when you’re not around?

And let’s face it, you have no choice anyways! All of us flirt or brighten up when we meet someone attractive.

Love recklessly and flirt with caution

Would you hate yourself if you have a warm and pleasant conversation with someone of the opposite sex? Would you hate receiving a compliment from anyone other than your own partner? It would make you feel better about yourself, wouldn’t it?

Flirting is a natural ability of humans, and it makes us feel really good about ourselves. And as long as you know where to draw the line, it’s all fine. Instead of restricting yourself or behaving like entering a relationship means banning all happy interactions with the opposite sex, learn to accept that even if you or your partner indulges in a bit of harmless flirting now and then, it doesn’t mean either of you love the other person any less.

If you love your partner, it’s within your moral control to hold yourself back from going any further or cheating on them. Restrictions from outside won’t change anything. So if you must flirt to feel good about yourself, go right ahead, but always remember to give your partner the first preference and always avoid making them feel insecure or neglected.So is flirting cheating? Well, it all depends on the way you look at it. If it works for you and your relationship and makes you feel attractive, I’d say go for it. But if you feel like it affects your relationship negatively, then hold your reins back and do something else to feel good about yourself.

Why Communication Won’t Save Your Marriage (Part 2) – What Will

WHY COMMUNICATION WON’T SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE (PART 2) – WHAT WILL

The Relate Institute

So after readingpart 1, you’ve recognized this annoying little cycle in your marriage (one of you pursues and one withdraws, you both withdraw, you both pursue, etc.).  But while your spouse is going on and on about that thing you do that bugs them so much and you know you’re about to get into a fight, how do you stop it?   How do you break the cycle?  This is the question we get from couples everyday.  “Okay, we get it.  We do that thing, but how do we get out of it?”

Here’s the trick: We all have insecurities and fears in our relationships that we need help overcoming.  When you can help soothe each other’s anxieties about where you stand in the relationship you can avoid eruptions that turn into fights.  When we soothe each other, we can feel calm and discuss issues calmly and safely, instead of from a place of fear and reactivity.  So basically, you are trying to respond to your partner’s needs and give your partner the chance to respond to you by expressing your needs to them.

Here are three ideas taken and adapted from Sue Johnson’s theory of emotionally focused therapy for how to do this:

1. Recognize your cycle when it happens.

This may sound trite, but honestly, just being able to stop yourselves and recognize, “we’re getting caught in our cycle” in the middle of an argument can change everything. All of a sudden you are fighting a common enemy–”the cycle”–instead of each other.

2. Understand what’s driving the cycle.

​It’s not going to help you very much if you can say, “We’re stuck in our cycle right now,” if you don’t know why the cycle is even happening.  It’s important to understand what goes on for each of you internally during the cycle.  In general, our visible responses (yelling, crying, running away, shutting down, etc.) are being driven by something deeper.  This “something” will be different for everyone, but it usually involves feelings of inadequacy, fear of losing your partner, shame, hurt, fear of not being important, embarrassment, loneliness, etc.  These feelings are often driven by the most fundamental and important unmet attachment needs of belonging, acceptance, safety, and connection.

Why Communication Won't Save Your Marriage (Part 2) - Here’s the trick: We all have insecurities and fears in our relationships that we need help overcoming. When you can help soothe each others’ anxieties about where you stand in the relationship you can avoid eruptions that turn into fights. When we sooth each other, we can feel calm and discuss issues calmly and safely, instead of from a place of fear and reactivity. So basically, you are trying to respond to your partner’s needs and give your partner the chance to respond to you by expressing your needs to them.

3. Learn how to express the emotions driving the cycle when it happens.

Instead of continuing to shut down and walk away when your wife starts nagging or yelling, recognize that you are shutting down, ask yourself what you are really feeling (beneath the annoyance and frustration), and communicate that to her. For example, you might be feeling overwhelmed by her nagging because you feel like you’re already doing so much and you don’t need her to add to your to-do list. This “nagging” makes you feel like you’re not doing a good enough job as a husband because she’s not happy, even though you’re trying your best, and this makes you feel inadequate as a husband.  It might even make you feel like a failure.  That’s a pretty scary place to be. Try sharing the fear of failing as a husband with her, instead of running away from her and your emotions again.

And to the “nagging” partner, try to really consider what’s happening for you.

​Are you feeling like he’s not responding to you? Is that why you have to complain? Does it feel like you aren’t being heard in your marriage?  How is that making you feel?  It might make you worried that when he forgets to do things you ask, it means he isn’t listening to you, which means what you say isn’t important, which means you aren’t important to him.  That’s also a pretty scary place to be – to not feel important to your spouse, the person who has committed to love and cherish you forever. Try sharing those fears with him instead of reaching out by nagging.

It’ll be a lot easier to respond to each other when you change the way you reach out to get your emotional attachment needs met. Instead of nagging to make sure he hears you, or running away to make sure she chases you, try actually sharing your deep-dark-scary-fears and see what happens.  We have found that it’s natural to respond to those we love when we can see and feel their pain with them.  If you can access that pain for yourself and share it with your partner, you’ve reached an entirely new level of safety, acceptance, and connection.

**Now, that example was pretty stereotypical, and it happens the other way around as well–with the husband nagging and the wife shutting down.  And it also happens around different issues.  For one couple it might be that one partner is cheating on the diet they are working on together, for another it might be that one partner always has to be right, for another it might be that one can’t keep the house clean, etc. etc. etc.  The issue is always unique to the situation, but it always comes back to the same cycle and same underlying emotions, fears, and attachment needs that need to be responded to and soothed.

Keep in mind, it may sound like 3 simple steps to changing your relationship, but accessing your underlying emotions is very difficult, and sharing them with your partner can sometimes feel like an insurmountable task because of the vulnerability it requires.  Don’t rush the steps.  Take your time helping each other figure out what you’re really feeling.  You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes in your relationship.

When You & Your Spouse Don’t Talk Anymore

WHEN YOU & YOUR SPOUSE DON’T TALK ANYMORE

Aaron & April Jacob

We hear from couples all the time who say they don’t talk to their spouses anymore.

“We don’t have anything to talk about.”
“We know everything about each other.”
“She doesn’t want to share her thoughts.”
“He doesn’t like talking about his feelings.”
“Talking turns into fighting, so we avoid talking.”

This happens to a lot of couples and can create a lot of distance – both  emotionally and physically.

If you and your spouse haven’t been talking a lot lately or don’t feel like you have a lot to talk about, don’t get discouraged. The good news is that you can get better at talking. You can. 

The real question is, are you willing to? 

Once upon a time you two had a lot to talk about, and you enjoyed sharing your stories from the day, your deepest fears, and your biggest dreams. Somewhere along the way life happened and you may or may not have unintentionally stopped talking and listening to each other like you used to.

Good news, with a few simple tips, you will be able to practice opening up again, and listening with love.

And the good old days are already on their way back. 

In our new book, Love is Patient, Love is Kind: A Christian Marriage Devotional, we share a few very practical tips for how to start talking again. 

Here is a short excerpt from the chapter in our book called Connected Conversations – 

1. Acknowledge each other.

When you wake up, go to sleep, leave, come home, or walk into a room, acknowledge your spouse with words – even just a simple “hey, babe” or “you look nice.” By acknowledging your spouse’s presence in a friendly and engaging manner, you’ll help conversation flow more naturally.

2. Share first.

If you and your spouse have a hard time talking, decide to be the one who will share first. Share the details of your day, even the seemingly normal ones. What was funny, what was hard, and what do you need advice on? Practice your storytelling skills. As you open up to your spouse about your day,  he or she will be more likely to open up to you as well.

3. Open your heart.

At some point, if you really want to feel close to your spouse and be madly in love again, you’ll need to be willing to share more than surface-level feelings. Share your emotions, your goals, and your dreams. This may not come naturally to some people, but it is something you can get better at and more comfortable with through practice. As you learn to be vulnerable, real, and sensitive, good things will happen.

4. Ask meaningful questions.

Avoid yes-or-no questions, and if your spouse gives you a one-word answer, try to ask a follow-up question. Ask about your spouse’s worries, fears, hobbies, interests, and favorite pastimes. Actively listen to what your spouse shares with you and validate their thoughts, feelings, and opinions.”
 – From Love is Patient, Love is Kind: A Christian Marriage Devotional

Now, these things are easier said than done.

Create an ideal setting. 

In our new book we also talk about ways to create an ideal setting for talking. If you can create rituals and routines that invite connected conversations, then you will be creating a safe, healthy, and warm foundation for a lifetime of talking, sharing, laughing, and loving.

We love what Dave & Ashley Willis suggest- that some men and women are more apt to talk when they are side-by-side instead of face to face. So instead of staring at each other over dinner wondering what to talk about, go for a walk, drive in the car, or bake a treat together. Conversation will come far more naturally than if you are just staring and waiting for it to come.

Often one of the best times to talk is right before bed. Set a goal to put your phones/devices away and just lay side-by-side or cuddle for ten minutes –  just be. See what kinds of conversations come up when you take the lead and start to share or ask questions. You also may be surprised at how intimate your conversations are if you spend a little time loving each other first. That may seem like the opposite way to approach things for some people, but sometimes physical love first can invite emotional sharing after. Just saying…

And finally, the most important thing. 

Pray for inspiration that is tailored to YOUR needs! God knows your spouse, and all that he or she is going through and dealing with. If anyone can help you navigate a more connected conversation with your spouse on the daily, it is God.

If you will pray for discernment of your spouse’s true needs, and for eyes to see ways to serve, lift, support, love, and be there for your spouse – then you will know exactly what to do when you two aren’t talking. And you will be inspired about specific things you can do to invite more conversation and communication in. 

If you listen to the promptings that come to you, you will know how you can learn to open up more to your spouse, how to feel safe again, how to overcome past hurts, and how to listen without judgment or a need to retaliate. 

We are so confident that things can start to  get better the very moment you decide you want to improve. Whatever you do, don’t give up on your relationship because there is currently a lot of distance between you two. Trust that God will help you close that gap, heal old wounds, and bring your hearts together again. 

Read why communication won’t save your marriage here and here. ​​

my spouse and I never talk anymore - we have nothing to talk about

So you have a few questions…

Let’s do an impromptu Q&A session – thoughts on this little thing we call com-mun-i-cating. 

Q. What do you do if your spouse just isn’t in the mood for talking?
A. Don’t press it. Instead, find a way to connect without talking. Rub his shoulders, give her a hug, make him a sandwich, ask her if she wants to cuddle and watch a show. Seriously, don’t force the talking thing. Instead, plan something fun to do this weekend, leave your spouse a love note in the car, or find another way to stay close and connected to your spouse, even if you aren’t talking a lot. 

Q. What do you do if your spouse doesn’t care about your emotions, goals, and dreams?
A. Whatever you do, don’t point out that he/she isn’t listening, doesn’t care, or that they don’t want to talk. Just because your spouse isn’t well-practiced in the art of listening, validating, and being sensitive, doesn’t mean he or she doesn’t care. Be okay with whatever level of attention, listening, and conversation your spouse can offer you right now – because those skills can improve! 

Q. What do you do if you share first and then your spouse has nothing to say?
A. Recently I (April) was at a MOPS meeting where a Marriage Therapist was being interviewed. She spoke about how sometimes one spouse takes up too much room in the relationship and the other spouse just lets them take over. She said if you normally do a lot of the talking in the relationship, step back and give your spouse more room, more space, and more time in the relationship and you’ll be surprised at how they open up. 

Q. How do you become a better listener?
A. Being a better listener isn’t just about skills, it’s about listening with your heart. It’s about really caring about what your spouse is saying because you love your spouse, and you want to feel close, connected, and emotionally intimate with him/her. Evaluate your heart, the demands on your time, and the distractions that normally sneak in, and you’ll know where and how you can become a better listener. Oh, and you’ll appreciate these 5 tips. 

“THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN COMMUNICATION IS HEARING WHAT ISN’T SAID” ~ PETER DRUCKER

​Q. Why do my spouse and I not talk anymore?
A. In this article we talk about

The Five Levels of Why

The Five Levels of Why is a method Sakichi Toyoda came up with and it was originally used at the Toyota Motor Corporation (here).

The gist of the method is to repeat the question “Why” five times until you get to the root cause of the problem or process and are then able to begin asking “How” questions in order to find a proper solution. 

For example (​now, this story could both ways for sure) – 

Why are we not talking? Because he had a long day at work and just wants to relax.

Why does he want to relax? Because work is stressful.

Why is work stressful? Well, it’s not just that work is stressful, but it seems that everything is piling up at all once – his reports are due Friday, his mom just got out of the hospital, he hasn’t been sleeping well, he needs to take his truck into the shop asap, and his anxiety is sky high. 

Why isn’t he sleeping well and why is his anxiety so high? He’s worried his mom is going to need to go to a care center, and wondering who is going to pay for it. He’s been avoiding everything he needs to do by staying up late and watching shows, and he can’t seem to shut his brain off at night. He feels alone, overwhelmed, and exhausted.

That is only four why’s and it’s preeetty clear that perhaps his wife could figure out some how’s:

– How could she help him with his truck, or his mom?
– How could she be there to listen to him vent about his anxieties and worries at night instead of going to sleep at 9pm?
– How could she do something to serve him and make his day easier?

She could encourage him to play basketball with his buddies, or send him an encouraging text during the day, or spend more time cuddling with him before going to bed. 

And yes, we could ask a few more why’s here and get down to some nitty gritty details on his anxieties and his mom’s aging, and his truck (yes, he loves his truck), but we’ll stop here. 

And yes, he should take some responsibility for the fact that he isn’t showing up 100% as a husband, and yes, he should strive to intentionally give more time, attention, and connection to his wife, but as you can see, he is super super super worn out. 

And instead of talking, what he may need is a lot of love. 

So, you see, it’s easy to look at not talking as the problem, when really the problem to address is something else. And if you can address the real problem, then it is wayyyy easier to fix the problem of not talking.

So ask the five why’s, or as many as you need, and address the root cause of the problem. 

Q. What do you do if you’re not talking that much because every time you do you start to fight?
A. Focus on listening, on validating, on being vulnerable, and on apologizing. Take responsibility for your part of the conversation and remember it takes two to tango. If you can practice healthy and safe conversation, then you will probably be able to keep cool, calm, and collected, which will help your spouse feel more calm, safe, and willing to talk. 

Q. Where do I start?
A. If you are at a lack for great conversation starters, here are some of our favorites. Oh, and we just used these when we were driving home from our ski date last week. We skipped the ones we didn’t love and had a blast with the ones we did like. We also love these nine questions and these 36 questions. Read through them and find a few you want to ask your spouse today. Start there. 

You can also start with technology. If you are already avoid each other and spend too much time on your devices, start texting more often throughout the day. Or use an app to connect, leave a video message, or share a pic with your spouse. Start where you are and you’ll get better as you keep at it.

Q. Why does it bother me so much that we don’t talk a lot?
A. It may be because your love languages are “words of affirmation” or “quality time.” Or it may be because what you are both longing for isn’t necessarily communication, but rather, connection – emotional and physical connection.

Renowned marriage researcher and author, Dr. John Gottman, speaks of “bids for connection,” which include any small bid for your spouse’s attention, love, empathy, affection, and love. 

What you do with your spouse’s bids for connections matters.

A lot.

Especially if you want to talk more. 

If you are aching and aiming for more connection in your conversations and in your marriage, then please check out this article on 25 Ways to Give Your Spouse the Time of Day and see if trying some of these things doesn’t invite more conversation, and more heart-to-hearts about the things that matter most. 

In Conclusion

We hope something in this article has inspired you with something you can do today to improve communication and connection with your spouse.  We’re confident that you and your spouse can start talking again, especially if you take the lead and decide to make an intentional effort to improve. 

Ultimately you know why you and your spouse aren’t talking. You probably knew before you even clicked on this article. If you search your heart, it will probably be very obvious to you what may be getting in the way of having connected conversations with your spouse. The minute you know what to do, we invite you to do it! You are the only one who can take steps today towards nurturing your marriage. As you do, your spouse is likely to follow suit! 

We would love to hear your tips and thoughts below! 

Don’t Hesitate to Do These 8 Hard Things for Your Mental Health

DON’T HESITATE TO DO THESE 8 HARD THINGS FOR YOUR MENTAL HEALTH

Marc Chernoff

You need to do hard things to be happy in life…because the hard things ultimately build you up and change your life from the inside out.

Daily stress is one of the primary causes of major mental and physical health problems in our lives: it can cause heart disease, anxiety, sleep deprivation, auto-immune disorders, weight problems, unhappiness, and even deep depression.

But we’re busy – we all have places to be, things to do and people to see.  So, how do we alleviate stress and still get our work done right, without neglecting our loved ones and ourselves?  What can we realistically start doing today to nurture our mental health and overall wellness?

I’m going to be brief about this, because time is of the essence.  There are eight simple (but not easy) things that need to be practiced.  A few mindset shifts and a couple actions that take only a few minutes a day.  These can’t solve the most severe stress-related problems, but they can help most of us in a major way.

1.  Be in the moment, completely, with just one task at a time.

Instead of being in a stressful task-switching state of mind, take your next task, let everything else go, and just be in the moment with this one task.

Let yourself be immersed in this task by letting go of the feeling that you need to quickly rush through it – that you need to move on to the next task waiting for you.  There will always be a next task, because that’s the nature of TO-DO lists – they’re never-ending.  So let those later tasks come later.  Just be 100% in this one task, like it’s your entire world.

Bottom line: Slow down.  Breathe.  Review your commitments and goals.  Put first things first.  Do one task at a time.  Start now.  Take a 5-minute break in an hour.  Repeat.  (And always remember, results are more important than the time it takes to achieve them.)

2.  Let go of controlling what can’t be controlled.

Fear is causing you to be stressed, not external factors like your job obligations or family issues.  Those external factors are just a part of life, but they become stressful when you fear failure, fear people won’t like you, fear you’re not good enough, fear abandonment, and so forth.

Your fears are based on some fantasy in your head about how things are supposed to be (and you fear that your life may not live up to that fantasy): you have an image in your head that you’re going to be perfect, have people like you, be comfortable all the time, and succeed on all fronts.  These fantasies are a way to feel in control of a world that you don’t actually control, but they’re hurting you by causing fear and stress.  Instead, let go of control.  Be OK with chaos and uncertainty, and trust that things will work out.  You’ll fear less and feel less stress.  (Read The Untethered Soul.)

3.  Accept people just the way they are, and smile.

We get upset with others because they don’t meet our fantasy of how they “should” act.  Instead, try accepting them for who they are, and recognize that, like you, they’re imperfect and seeking happiness and struggling with finding it.  They’re doing their best.  Accept them just the way they are.  In most cases it’s impossible to change them anyway (and it’s rude to try).  So save yourself from needless stress…

Instead of trying to change others, give them your support today and lead by example.

4.  Perform short mindfulness practices.

You don’t have to meditate for 30 minutes to get the benefits of mindfulness…

  • You can do a quick body scan (focus on your body and notice how each part of it feels right now) in 30 seconds.
  • You can pay attention to your breath for 60 seconds (listen to it and feel it).
  • You can watch your thoughts about concerns, fears, judgments, doubts, and ideals for a minute (recognize that these thoughts are simply thoughts; you don’t need to believe them or react to them).
  • You can walk mindfully, paying attention to your feet, your body, your breath and your surroundings, as you walk.

You can do each of these short mindfulness practices in little bits whenever you need them throughout your day.

5.  Purge untrue thoughts.

You must learn a new way to think before you can master a new way to be.  Behind every stressful feeling is an untrue thought.  Before the thought you weren’t suffering, but after the thought you began to suffer.  When you recognize that the thought isn’t true, once again there is no suffering.  When you change your thoughts, you change your life.  So next time you catch a thought stressing you out, ask yourself these four questions:

  • Is it true? – This question can change your life. Be still and ask yourself if the thought you’re dealing with is true.
  • Can I be absolutely, 100% certain that it’s true? – This is another opportunity to open your mind and to go deeper into the unknown, to find the answers that live beneath what you think you know.
  • How do I feel when I think this thought? – With this question, you begin to notice internal cause and effect.  You can see that when you believe the thought, there is a disturbance that can range from mild discomfort to outright panic and fear.  What do you feel?  How do you treat the situation (or person) you’re thinking about, how do you treat yourself, when you believe that thought?  Be specific.
  • Who would I be, and what would I do differently, if I were not thinking this thought? – Imagine yourself in your situation (or in the presence of that person), without believing the thought.  How would your life be different if you didn’t have the ability to even think this stressful thought?  How would you feel?  Which do you prefer – life with or without the thought?  Which feels more peaceful?

(Angel and I discuss this process in detail in the “Letting Go of Painful Emotions” lesson of the Getting Back to Happy course.)

6.  Consciously squash the needless comparisons.

Sometimes the reason we struggle with stress and insecurity is because we compare our behind-the-scenes circumstances with everyone else’s public highlight reel.  Give it up.  Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 15.  Follow your own path, write your own life story, and never give up on yourself.

Next time you catch yourself comparing your life situation to someone else’s, refer to these two formulas:

  • Happiness formula = Do YOUR very best and feel good about it.
  • Unhappiness formula = Compare yourself to everyone else.

7.  Track what’s going well and give thanks.

Overlooking everything that’s wonderful is a tragedy.  Do your best and surrender the rest.  When you stay stuck in worried thoughts of the life you think you should have, you end up missing the beauty of what you do have.  You will have a hard time ever being happy if you aren’t thankful for the good things in your life right now.

Here’s a super simple, five-minute, daily gratitude exercise that has worked wonders for thousands of our coaching clients over the past decade:

Every evening before you go to bed, write down three things that went well during the day and their causes.  Simply provide a short, causal explanation for each good thing.

That’s it. We spend tens of thousands of dollars on expensive electronics, big homes, fancy cars and lavish vacations hoping for a boost of happiness.  This is a free alternative, and it works.

In a study of this gratitude exercise’s effectiveness by Martin Seligman, participants were asked to follow those exact instructions for just one week.  After one week the participants were measurably 2% happier than before, but in follow-up tests their happiness kept on increasing, from 5% at one month, to 9% at six months.  Even more interestingly, the participants were only required to keep this gratitude journal for one week, but the majority of them continued journaling on their own because they enjoyed it.

I tried it for myself many years ago – I set a goal of doing it for just one week, and I’m still doing it today.  So I can assure you, it’s addictively effective.  (Angel and I discuss this in detail in the Happiness chapter of our New York Times bestselling book, Getting Back to Happy: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Reality, and Turn Your Trials into Triumphs.)

8.  Use your body.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, your body is the greatest instrument you own.  So when all else fails, and your stress levels are mounting, use your body to sooth your mind.

The mind reflects your body by responding to its levels of tension, rate of breath, speed of movement and mental focus.  Likewise your body mirrors your thoughts, feelings, mood, and responds to your state of mind, the questions you ask and the words you speak.  So if the mind and body are intrinsically connected – meaning that one has a direct affect on the other – it becomes clear that if we directly and consciously take control of one, it will influence and transform the other.

By mindfully adjusting how you use your body you can directly influence your state of mind, and dramatically transform your attitude.  Just imagine you’re sitting there in a bad mood, shoulders hanging forward, shallow breathing and frowning.  Go ahead and do this right now to experience how it influences your state of mind.  And then do the opposite: stand up straight and put a big smile on your face.  Take some deep, strong breaths and stretch your arms into the air.

Notice how you feel better?

Bottom line: Take the vehicle your creator has given you and use it!  Your body is the best tool for changing your attitude and relieving stress in an instant.

Closing Thoughts

If you’re still looking to make positive changes after doing the eight things above, I have a few more recommendations:

And remember that most people cope with stress in the easiest, unhealthy ways imaginable – drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, eating sweets, arguing with people, mindlessly watching TV, procrastinating, and so forth.  Ironically, these activities often cause even more stress and mental anguish.  So don’t take the easy way out.  Instead, use the ideas above to cope without these unhealthy crutches…

Start doing the hard things you know you need to for yourself!

Every.  Single.  Day.

Now, it’s your turn…

Before you go, I’d love to hear from YOU in the comments section below.

Which point above do you resonate with most?  What helps you nurture your mental health and overall wellness when life gets stressful?

Please share your thoughts.

WHAT MEN LIKE IN WOMEN MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE

What Men Like in Women More than Anything Else

Team Lovepanky

Men can’t help but love women. But do you really know what men like in women and what is it about a woman that they find most attractive? Find out here.

Men like women. A lot.

But there are a few kinds of women that men absolutely adore and fall in love with, wherever they go.

Ever seen an ad on the television where a girl walks across the street and all the guys either trail her or wolf whistle in appreciation?

Want to be that girl?

When it comes to appreciation at first sight, what different men like in women doesn’t really vary a lot.

It’s the simple things really.

And it’s really simple to become that woman who can make heads turn and men swoon wherever you go.

Find out what men like in women and be that attractive woman that all men want and desire.

But then again, once you know what men really like in women, what are you going to do with all that attention?!

What men like in women

Attraction and infatuation at first sight are very different from the deep appreciation that men get once they get to know a woman well.

But for starters, here are the special aspects about women that make men thank the one above for creating women in the first place.

#1 A cheerful attitude

The cheerful laugh or a flirty giggle of a happy, cheerful woman can melt even the hardest of manly hearts. Have a happy, cheerful personality and try to look at the happier side of life all the time. There’s something about a cheerful woman whose eyes light up with joy that draws all men to her.

#2 The way she looks and dresses

It’s always easier to attract attention from men when you make an effort to look good and dress well. A bright red umbrella is always a lot more attention grabbing on a rainy day amidst all the dull umbrellas, doesn’t it?

Dress well and feel good about yourself. You don’t really have to try and stand out with bold, flashy colors all the time. Just dress like a perfect ten in well fitting clothes and appear confident. And yes, don’t forget that dab of perfume to leave a trail of men swooning over your fragrance as you walk past them!

#3 Flirty gestures

What men like in women is a streak of flirty seduction. Do you curl your lips or hold a pen in your lip when you’re trying to come up with an idea? Do you wink or raise your eyebrows flirtily when you say goodbye or pass a smart remark? Well, if you do indulge in any of those expressions or even a million other expressions that make you look cuter-than-cute, then you’re already on your way to make hearts beat a lot faster.

Men can’t get enough of flirty gestures from women. Stand in front of the mirror and try a few flirty moves. It may seem dumb at first, but hey, remember what men like in women and try this tip. It’s guaranteed to show results within seconds!

#4 Just a little bit of skin

Want that glance to turn into a second and third glance? Learn to show a bit of skin. An outright pound of cleavage or a slab of midriff can seem attractive, but it’s also trashy and crude. And it makes you look like you’re trying too hard to please and get attention.

Play subtle. It works a lot better. A shirt or a tee that ends just right around where your jeans start, or a perfectly fitting top with a wider neck that shows a bit but yet needs a bit of craning to get a peep is just perfect for men. They love the nearly-there peeks and their curiosity would drive them crazy enough to stare, again and again.

#5 A seductive voice

If there’s anything that makes the hair on the back of a man’s neck stand in excitement, it’s a woman’s sweet and sexy voice. Now mastering the art of the husky voice takes time, so don’t give it too much of a thought just yet.

When you’re speaking with a man, speak in a low tone and avoid the high pitched glass shattering squeal that most women use when they’re surprised or ecstatic with joy. A low, soft voice inadvertently sounds more arousing and attractive. And the best part here, it’s easy to speak in a low, softer tone without seeming like you’re trying too hard. Try your new softer voice the next time you’re on the phone. And don’t blame us if the man on the other end gets flirty!

#6 A woman who asks for help

This is every man’s dream. Well, as long as he isn’t your man already!

Men like to feel wanted and appreciated by women. Most women think men are slobs who hate working or running errands, but that’s the case only if he’s already in a long term relationship with you. If he’s single and a woman with all the aforementioned characteristics walks up to him and asks him to help her out with a smile, he’d jump up like a jack in the box.

Men absolutely love a woman who asks for help. It makes them feel more macho, gives them an excuse to have a conversation with a pretty woman, and reawakens their evolutionary desire to be the provider and the protector. And when you thank a man with a flirty smile, there’s a good chance that he’d gush with awkward embarrassment and ask for your phone number!

#7 A woman’s ability to flirt back

Do you ever flirt back with a man, even if it’s just for fun? Many women feel awkward, embarrassed or even threatened when a friendly guy starts a little flirting game.

Just because you indulge in a friendly game of flirting doesn’t mean you’re falling for a guy, remember that. If you want to impress a man, have a fun conversation with him. If you bring your flirty expressions into the conversation, there’s a good chance that any guy would want to flirt with you or sweet talk you, even if he’s with his own girlfriend!

But you don’t always have to flirt back with a guy, sometimes when you play hard to get and blow hot or cold once in a while, it’ll throw a guy off guard and make him try harder to please you.

#8 A woman who acknowledges a man’s stare

You may like a guy who’s sipping his whiskey at the far end of the bar counter. How would you feel if he looks at you, gives you his dirtiest stare and looks away? You’d feel shattered, of course.

Men have a heart too, you know. If a guy’s trying to catch your attention or trying to exchange a glance, you don’t need to reciprocate all the time. But if he does seem decent enough, it’s a warm gesture to lock eyes for a second and look away.

You don’t need to date him or have his babies, but a simple acknowledgement that you noticed him can make his day, especially when you’re such a stunning woman with all the charms. You can look once and forget all about it, and any guy would appreciate that. If there’s one thing men like in women, it’s the ability to acknowledge a man without blowing him off in the first glance.

You could give him your dirtiest stare though, if he seems too eager to continue the game or makes a move to talk to you.

Now that you know what men like in women, use these eight tips and you’ll see how easy it can be to win the attention of men around you. And the best part, it’ll never appear like you’re trying to make an impression!

How Men Think When it Comes to Love and Relationships

HOW MEN THINK WHEN IT COMES TO LOVE AND RELATIONSHIPS

Team Lovepanky

Ever wondered how men think about relationships? Understand the way a man’s mind works and you’ll be able to read him like a book, all the time.

There are so many things about a man’s mind that makes him predictable and easy to understand.

Have you ever wondered about how men think, especially when it comes to relationships and the opposite sex?

Sometimes, just understanding the way most men think can make life a lot easier for women when it comes to impressing a man, or even flattering him.

How men think

You may try to win a man’s heart, or make a deep impression on him or you may even want to change him to suit your whims and fancies.

Instead of trying to change your man to become your definition of a dream man, just use these simple tips.

And everything will fall perfectly into place, just as long as you remember how men think.

Men think all compliments are true

If there’s one think a woman can’t go wrong with, it’s a compliment.

Almost all men think all compliments addressed to them are completely true.

Compliment a man and he’ll never think it’s a lie. Women may think twice about a compliment, but men always believe what they hear.

Compliment a man and he’ll appreciate you for it, and think of you fondly each time he remembers that compliment.

Do you want your man to start working out? Just tell him he’s got great shoulders, with just a bit of fat covering his muscles. He’ll start working out just to try and retain that compliment. On the other hand, have you ever found your man butt naked and checking himself out in front of the mirror? Chances are, someone’s told him he’s got a sexy backside.

Men are easily impressed

You may find this ridiculous, but it’s so true! Men may know it and even be wary of it, but they just can’t help it. Men are easily impressed by women who flirt back with them or exchange a flirty smile. All men think women who reciprocate their moves or at least acknowledge it are the nicest and prettiest women on earth. Want him to do you a favor? Just bat your eyelids and smile.

But this doesn’t end with just single men. Even if you’ve been dating your man for a few years, just flirt with your man or tease him into submission. He may hate you for the manipulation, but he’ll still love you for your teasing and flirting.

Men think they’re the protectors

Men think of themselves as the protectors. Ever since the primate days, men have always been the hunters and the protectors while women have been the foragers and the nurturers. Rekindle that instinct in a man and he’ll love you for it.

Men love pleasing women, be it his girlfriend or an attractive woman on the street. Give him a chance to help you and he’ll fall in love with you for making him feel like a man.

Men think they’re alright with being treated as an equal

The modern man may assume that he’d perfectly happy in a world where women rule the world. But it’s just not true.

Men have always been the breadwinners and the ones who play a dominant role in the relationship. And when the tables turn and the woman plays the dominant role of a breadwinner, most men feel emasculated and vulnerable. When a man’s wife earns more than he does or yells at him in front of others, he can’t help but shrivel up or end up wanting to have an affair just to feel powerful again. This may make men seem like chauvinistic pigs, but it’s just the way they are.

If you do want to keep your man happy in the relationship even if you’re earning more money than him, never make him feel like he has no say or control over the relationship. Emasculating a man will only drop his libido and his interest in you.

Men think they’re emotionally strong

Men think they’re strong, but they aren’t, at least not inside the head. Men have epic egos, but those egos can be shattered easily. And once it’s shattered, it takes a long time for them to nurse their ego back to life.

Be it an issue with not being able to last long enough in bed, or trying to woo a woman who seems too good to get, if a man has one bad experience, it’s all he needs to stay away from the same situation.

Don’t ever shatter a man’s ego, he’ll hate you for it. And eventually, it’ll be the both of you that suffer in the relationship. He may sulk or pout after a ego shattering experience, but help your man-child nurse his ego back to life, and you’ll have a happy relationship where he’ll helplessly depend on you to make him feel like a better man.

Men think they care about a woman’s personality

Most men think they’re intellectual and deep, but they always fall for looks over anything else. Men are completely visual. It’s always been that way since men could think. Now what may seem attractive to one man doesn’t always have to be attractive to another, but it always comes down to infatuation at first sight for all men. But at the same time, infatuation and love are two completely different emotions for men.

So the next time you want to get that second glance or make your man listen to what you have to say, dress sexy. He may drool a bit, but he’ll still listen to whatever you have to say.

Men think they like a woman who makes the first move

Men may say they like a woman who asks a guy out. It may make their life easier when it comes to wooing a woman, but subconsciously men just don’t appreciate a woman who makes the first move.

Men think women who ask a guy out are too easy to get. He may appreciate the gesture, but really, are you not getting any attention from men? Otherwise, why would you jump on a man yourself?

Unless you make a man work for your affection, somewhere deep inside, he’ll always assume he’s the better one in the relationship who can get any girl he wants if he really tries. After all, he didn’t really have to fight off any competition to get you, did he?

Men and women may think along the same lines in many ways, but not in love. Understand these tips on how men think about relationships and attraction because it can make all the difference in wooing or keeping a man committed.

Love Triangles and its Confusing Complications

LOVE TRIANGLES AND ITS CONFUSING COMPLICATIONS

Natalia Avdeeva

Love triangles are confusing affairs. Find out how love triangles work, how you could end up falling into one and how you can get out of one here.

Have you ever been in love with someone who’s already in love with someone else?

Or are you in love with someone right now, but find yourself falling for someone else at the same time?

Well, you’re just living the perfect love triangle life!

What is a love triangle?

A love triangle is a complicated dating scenario where there’s love in the air, but there are more than two people involved.

When love is mutual and shared between two people, everything is perfect, simple and easy.

But when a third person enters the picture, everything changes just like that.

In come the complications and the frustrations, laced with intense happiness and a flow of bitterness.

The two types of love triangles

There are two primary types of love triangles. There are many complicated love triangles too, but they always find a way to fit into these two scenarios.

#1 Two people trying to win one person’s affection.

#2 One person who’s in love with one person but likes someone else at the same time.

How would you find yourself in a love triangle?

If you have a crush on someone who’s already in a relationship, that doesn’t become a love triangle. It stays as a crush.

And if you’re in a perfectly happy relationship and your friend tells you they’re in love with you, that’s not a love triangle either, because your friend just has a crush on you.

A love triangle starts only when there is reciprocation.

When a single person starts to feel a reciprocating connection with someone who’s already dating, or if you’re in a relationship with one person and start loving someone else who reciprocates your love, it has the perfect recipe for a love triangle.

Only with reciprocation does a motive to pursue arise. After all, if you liked someone and that person didn’t care about you, there’s nothing at all that you can do, is there?

It doesn’t matter if you’re in a relationship or you’re single, what you need to realize is that love triangles can never ever be created because of one person’s weak moment. It always takes two people to start the complication while the third person suffers for no fault of theirs.

No one wants to be in a love triangle

And yet, almost all of us end up in one. A love triangle may start off as an interesting distraction at first, which then unexpectedly turns into love. And this can lead to sticky love triangles where one person could be in love with two people at the same time.

When you don’t want to take a step ahead, nor do you want to take a step back and stay happy in your own relationship, a love triangle starts to form even if you try your best to avoid it.

Love triangles always affect a relationship negatively

For the person who’s single, it’s simple. All they need to do is steal the person who’s already in the relationship.

If you’re single and trying to steal someone who’s in an unhappy relationship, it’s really easy. But what do you do if they’re with someone they really love? They may love you and yet, they may not want to lose their own partner. You may be able to steal a few happy moments of love and lust, but if nothing really works out, you can still walk away with your share of pain and helplessness.

On the other hand, a person who loves two people will want the best of both people, and the worst of none. They’d start picking flaws in their partner, and creating false reasons to justify why they’re cheating. They need a reason to convince themselves that they’re not happy in the relationship, and that’s the only reason they’re falling for someone else or getting involved in a love triangle.

But even when the third person walks away from their life someday, can they ever overcome all the flaws they’ve picked in their relationship?

Unless there’s a lot of love and bonding in the relationship, a love triangle always leaves a deep scar that tests the person’s faith in the relationship.

And almost always, a relationship that is put through the test of a love triangle fails or never regains its former glory.

Love triangles are painfully fun

If you’re involved in a love triangle right now, you would know this. A love triangle is a lot of fun for the cheating partner and the third person, because it’s so exciting and risky. When you enjoy the pleasures of a love triangle, it’s always fun.

But for your partner who’s in the dark, it may be a very miserable time because you’re ignoring them, detaching yourself emotionally from them, and completely avoiding them.

And once the fire and the passion of your secret affair starts to die down and you realize that you still love your partner and not this third person *which almost always happens*, you’d start to feel the pain too.

So what do you really get out of a love triangle? Nothing but pain, even if it feels like fun while it lasts.

Love triangles are selfish

You may think it’s acceptable for you to love someone else behind your lover’s back. But would you be fine if your partner behaved exactly like you, used the same flirty words you use with your adulterous lover, with someone they like? If that bothers you, you’re being very unfair to your partner and you’re being selfish.

I know you feel helpless, but you really need to keep this in mind. Most lovers who are stuck in love triangles forget to think from their partner’s point of view now and then. By keeping your partner in mind, even if you do fall for someone else, you’ll always know who’s more important at the back of your mind. And that guilt will help give you the strength to walk away even if you’ve rolled in the hay with someone else for a few weeks.

Love triangles are inevitable

Let’s face it. We can’t always stop ourselves from appreciating someone else, or falling for someone else helplessly. But a love triangle is best avoided.

It can happen when you least expect it. You may just enjoy a conversation with someone, and without realizing it, a few weeks later, you may be in love with them because they excite you and have infatuated you. Don’t hate yourself if that happens to you. Just learn to do the right thing.

But if you ever do experience a love triangle, instead of picking flaws in your own relationship, ask yourself whom you’d really choose, and who you want to be with. Just one answer. Don’t try to push that thought away. You have no choice, because someday you’re going to have to decide on that. And the earlier you make up your mind, the less painful it’ll be for everyone involved.

A love triangle starts only when you’re confused over your emotions for your partner. If you’re certain about who you’re truly in love with, you’ll never have a weak moment even if you just enjoy a flirty conversation with a flirty someone outside your relationship.

You don’t need to be wary of everyone you talk to, or avoid ever getting friendly with anyone of the opposite sex. All you need to remember is how happy you already are in your perfect relationship. Just keeping that in mind will safeguard you from ever sliding down the exciting and dark hole of love triangles.

If you’re experiencing a love triangle or wondering how to get over one, it doesn’t make you a bad person. It only makes you human.


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